Rauh speaks on campaign reform
Democratic candidate for New Hampshire's seat in the U.S. Senate John Rauh told a packed crowd in Hinman Forum last night that money, not votes sets political agenda in Washington.
"Most Americans see two Americas: one writing big political checks and buying influence, and the other America, the majority of Americans, not voting and anxious about their jobs, their health care, their children's future," he said in his speech titled "The Influence of Money in the American Political System."
Rauh cited Carl Lindner, the Chief Executive Officer of American Financial Corporation, as epitomizing how money buys influence in Congress.
"Though a staunch Republican, Lindner's companies have given $2.1 million to both Democrats and Republicans over the past five years," he said. "And the Washington politicians have rewarded him by pressuring foreign governments to give beneficial treatment to AFC's subsidiary, Chiquita Banana, which has few American employees."
Rauh said he sees three objectives for reform of campaign finance laws.
"Give voters the information they need to make their decisions," he said. "Give every citizen -- not just those with the means to write big political checks -- an equal opportunity to express himself. Attract the best possible candidates."
Rauh proceeded to present a package of campaign finance reforms which consisted of a $100 contribution cap, elimination of Political Action Committees and a voluntary tax allocation fund for candidates who meet specific criteria.
"Candidates, to qualify for the VTA fund, would have to agree to limit contributions to $100, limit spending based on population for both primary and general elections and participate in previously determined debates and forums," he said.